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Dawson's Creek

Season 4 Episode 1

Coming Home

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Oct 04, 2000 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
115 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Pacey and Joey return from their summer vacation on True Love. Now they have to deal with Dawson's feelings, who has been deeply hurt for the past months. At first, he doesn't want to talk with either one of them, but Jen convinces him to talk to Joey. Meanwhile, Pacey's older sister, Gretchen, arrives in Capeside and moves in with Doug, making Pacey homeless. But he won't live with his parents anymore, so he asks Joey to let him crash at her house for a while. Dawson tells Jack about Gretchen, for whom he had a secret crush a few years ago. Andie meets two foreign guys, and she is attracted to them. Dawson and Joey talk, and he says he'll be ok, but it takes one day at a time. Everybody is wondering if Pacey and Joey did it while on the trip, and they don't confirm or deny. But Joey secretly tells Dawson nothing really happened.moreless

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  • Pacey and Joey are back, but it gets awkward when Dawson isn't over the drama of what happened last year. Andie meets some guys on the beach who claim they can't speak English.moreless

    Great start to the season! Pacey and Joey are back from their boating excursion. I totally ship them as a couple now. I liked how all the characters have grown since season 3. I didn't know Pacey had a sister. Pacey acted like a bit of a jerk in this episode. I did like the ending of the episode with him and Joey reading to each other and falling asleep on those hammacks. Dawson was acting a little more mature in this episode. I thought he was going to cry when he saw Joey. He was acting a little bit stubborn, but I'm glad that he and Joey are going to try and be friends. I loved seeing Andie in this episode as she's my favourite character. I thought the guy who was pretending he couldn't speak french was cheesy but I liked that he treated Andie nicely. I also liked seeing Grams in this episode. I loved hearing all the characters witty remarks in this episode. I give this episode a 9/10.moreless
  • After a very romantic summer away from Capeside Pacey and Joey finally return home. They bring in Gretchen, Pacey's older sister. All in all the episode is mainly about showing the audiance how much of a strong couple Pacey and Joey have become.moreless

    Starts off rather sweet with the happy and very in love couple talking about senior year. Great beginning. Though I do believe the writers played out the whole Joey always worrying about Dawson thing. The episode was a great starter for the fourth season. It did prove that Pacey and Joey's relationship is rather strong that not even Dawson could break it, but it also showed that Pacey is still a bit insecure when it comes to Dawson. Also how Dawson is still in love with Joey and is no way going to forgive Pacey for getting picked by Joey.moreless
  • After a summer of romancin', Pacey and Joey return to the real world. Things aren't always easy, but their love is a "fixed point".

    It wasn't the perfect episode, but those touching moments made up for it, in my eyes. Nothing else really mattered to me but the Pacey/Joey storylines (as with most episodes, really), and luckily, we got some good time spent to this couple. After a summer at sea, they are still head over heels in love, perhaps even more so. Their lovey-dovey scenes are so cute, and the playful banter continues to my utter delight. Meanwhile, Dawson is still being immature and childish about the whole P/J thing -- no surprise there. Tensions arise a bit where Dawson is concerned, because everyone, young and old, is so intent on babying him about the whole thing (for God knows that reason)... but the wonderful ending scene (and one of the best scenes of S4), showed us once again that Dawson is most definitely not a threat for Pacey when it comes to Joey Potter's affections.moreless
  • The average return of the new season...

    Coming back from the three months sail turn face us that nothing of the Dawson/Pacey/Joey problem between the characters were solved. In fact some of it was greater than in the past. Hoping in vain on a long talk between Dawson and Pacey to de-escalate the situation is disappointing us too. Such big friends may find a way to talk to another, but nothing happens – both wasted their opportunities.

    Gretchen, sister of Pacey and Doug, appears first in this episode. She is a great add-on, because she has the chance to show Joey’s minds to Pacey on the female side.

    By the way on the long summer period the old friendships between the others have improved too. They gave nice support to Dawson who was sadly left back in Capeside.

    Flirting with the two alleged french guys by Andie, which is still in love with Pacey, is the funniest highlight of this episode.

    Overall a nice introducing in the new season – but not a great one!moreless
  • Back where we were

    Okay let me be honest: I'm tottally ASHAMED to watch this show. Every time I meantion it I get laughed at by my friends, and I really get why they do this. I mean....this IS a very, very bad show. Reason I'm reviewing it? I do love it! With all it's bad lines, and over-dramatic plots. Here I am reviewing season 4, because once again I can't stop watching this show. *God* knows why.

    I really like Pacey and Joey. I also like Dawson and Joey. It's a problem. This episode was just cute, I absolutely adore the way J&P are around each other. They're fun, and they so clearly love each other. That's probably the reason why I'm going to pick J&P above D&J right now. D&J are just too dramatic at the moment. They should think about having fun. Especially Dawson. I mean, get over it boy! She's gone, and you can actually get other people. You know, because it's your show and all. Perhaps, or no probably ( it is Dawson's Creek after all ) Gretchen will soon be Dawson's girlie girl. I do like her, and wouldn't really want her to be messed up by Dawson. Or maybe she'll be the good influence and change him ;)

    I used to love Andie. I loved her with Pacey. But she was so weird this episode. Way too girly. With her strangely high voice, and the way she talked, and the way she was around those boys. Wich, btw, were the cutest ever. And then I especially mean the english talking one. He's just....*drool*

    Jack is cool, and I really have to say: so was Jen :) Good for her. She's cool when she isn't a bitch.

    I am a huge "Little Mermaid" fan ( oh god what people must be thinking :S Then again I'm reviewing DC so it couldn't get any worse ) so I just adored the last scene. Aaah, true love baby, true love. Offcourse it's only true love, 'till someone else shows up. Although I think, that after this episode, they should end up together. This one was a BIG point for the J&P!moreless
James Van Der Beek

James Van Der Beek

Dawson Leery

Katie Holmes

Katie Holmes

Josephine "Joey" Potter

Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams

Jennifer "Jen" Lindley

Joshua Jackson

Joshua Jackson

Pacey J. Witter

Kerr Smith

Kerr Smith

Jack McPhee (recurring Season 2)

Mary Beth Peil

Mary Beth Peil

Evelyn "Grams" Ryan

Danny Roberts (II)

Danny Roberts (II)

Jon Jon / Jay Jay

Guest Star

Garikayi Mutambirwa

Garikayi Mutambirwa


Guest Star

Dylan Neal

Dylan Neal

Deputy Doug Witter

Recurring Role

Sasha Alexander

Sasha Alexander

Gretchen Witter

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (11)

    • From season 4 onwards, a sentence can be written on Dawson's room wall: People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

      It is a slight variation of an Abrahan Lincoln sentence: Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

    • Although Dawson and Jack have been painting homes around Capeside during the summer, Dawson gets a metal handler for the paint rollers from the hardware shop. New paint and rollers make sense but it isn't likely that he is going to need need such handle since he would already have one.

    • Goof: When Joey and Pacey are talking on the dock just after arriving back to Capeside, Pacey's bag strap changes its position from the front shots to the rear ones.

    • Joey's gift to Dawson is a brick from the foundation of Ernest Hemingway's home in the Florida Keys that is meant to be a symbol to build their friendship Dawson. However, it's highly unlikely that she could have damaged a historic landmark and doesn't sound like something that Joey would do.

    • When Joey and Pacey are on the boat coming home, a small microphone can been see under his collar in the close up shots.

    • Goof: When Jen is sunbathing, the cord of her sun hat switches from falling off her shoulder to sitting by her neck.

    • Goof: When Joey and Pacey are on the boat coming home, Pacey's hair is noticeably longer than when they dock and get off the boat.

    • Goof: When Joey and Pacey are talking on the dock just after arriving back to Capeside, her hair switches from being behind her back to being to the front of her shoulders.

    • When Dawson and Jen are developing pictures in the small dark room next to the living room where Dawson's parents are making out, they are speaking at a normal voice tone. It's not likely that Mitch and Gale wouldn't have heard them and avoided being seen in such a private situation.

    • When Joey and Pacey arrive back to Capeside, Joey's microphone can be seen clipped to the back of her shorts.

    • When Pacey and Doug are talking 12 minutes in the boom mic can be seen in the top left of the screen.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Dawson: You can't choose what to love, it chooses you.

    • Gretchen: Doug wakes me up every morning at 7 dustbustering the kitchen. It's like living with Felix Unger on crack.

    • Gretchen: How are you?
      Dawson: Damp at the moment
      Gretchen: And in the grander scheme of things?

    • Joey: Dawson uhh... I'm very sorry. I'm sorry for everything that happened last year and... for doing what I had to do. I... I know how difficult it was and probably still must be.
      Dawson: (Sighs) It wasn't easy. Thinking about the two of you together every day, every night...
      Joey: (Laughs nervously) Actually the only person who hasn't dared ask the big question.
      Dawson: Well I'm the only person the answer could potentially kill.

    • Jen: Look she's doing the official wait for Dawson to come over thing.
      Dawson: Mmm... it looks to me more like the official wait in vain for Dawson to come over thing.
      Jen: (Sighs) One more joke like that, and I am really gonna know how hard this is for you.
      Dawson: It's not hard.
      Jen: (Disbelievingly) Come on.
      Dawson: It's not. It's not easy, but it's not hard.
      Jen: Well whatever it is, why don't you just go get it over with?
      Dawson: I'll do it, but it's just a highly predictable moment. I'm gonna walk over there, Joey and I are gonna engage in some semi-casual conversation until the awkwardness overwhelms us both, and then we're just gonna part, each of us surprised at how surprisingly painless the whole encounter surprisingly was.
      Jen: Well then surprise me, and go on over there.

    • Jen: Dawson, I hear they're playing Jaws.
      Dawson: Good, haven't seen it yet.

    • Joey: You got me, Jen. We did it. All day, all night. Twenty-four seven. Were you aware that there are at least thirty-eight known differing sexual positions? And forty-two if you're flexible enough.

    • Pacey: Just one question, Potter. What did you think about the seventh time that you stalled?
      Joey: That I'm never driving stick again.

    • Pacey: We don't have to go home. We survived for the past three months taking odd jobs. We can survive as long as we want, just as long as we're happy.
      Joey: Pacey, if your're so serious about this, why bring it up now... two hours from home?
      Pacey: Twelve hours from home. Well, I think we should probally drop anchor here, have a bite to eat, and then we can debate whether to scrap this whole mission home.
      Joey: No, I don't belive you Pacey Witter. As truant as your natural instinct may be, you never really suggested that we skip our senior year at high school entirely?
      Pacey: Just what would we be missing from the land of poorly scripted melodramas? Recycled plot lines, tiresome self-realizations. You throw in the occasional downward spiral of a dear friend, and maybe baby here and a death there and all you really got is a recipe for some soul-sucking, mind-numbing, ennui on wheel. And I for one could skip it.

    • Joey: I would like to offer it to you as a...
      Dawson: Please don't say symbol.
      Joey: As an emblematic artifact representing the foundation of... of a new friendship.

    • Joey: Pacey... I wanted to see Dawson tonight, not because for 4 months of my life he was my boyfriend, because for the better part of my life he was my friend. And as my friend, I hurt him deeply, and living with that fact has caused me no small amount of guilt over the past 3 months. So, yes, I have been preoccupied, and it has made my mind wonder, but... my heart? That's a fixed point. 3 months riding the open waters couldn't shake it, I'll be damned if I let your insecurities shake it. My heart never left this boat. It's never left you. As far as I can see it's not going to anytime soon.

    • Joey: Ah, seafood, great change of pace, Pace.

  • NOTES (12)

    • U.S. ratings (millions of viewers):
      Season 4 (2000–2001) 4.1 millions. Network Rank #120.

    • During the 4th Season, there were a lot of parties in various episodes. Generally episodes were structured to have some sort of get-together in the 3rd or 4th act in order to intersect the various storylines in a realistic and visually interesting manner.

    • Originally Dawson's love interest for this season had been planned to be Pacey's younger sister, but the network found it inappropriate and therefore the storyline was turned into Pacey's older sister, Gretchen Witter.

    • This kiss between Andie and Jon had to be edited to look more passionate than it originally did. Apparently, the male actor was gay in real life and it affected the chemistry of the kiss.

    • The opening scene when Joey and Pacey are returning to Capeside on Pacey's boat had to be shot 3 times because of the boat was rocking too much. Production finally got a special "Steady Cam" that finally worked.

    • The scene in which Dawson and Joey are in the parking lot of the "Dive-In" is a mix between the real "Dive-In" and the parking lot of the studio in Wilmington (any scenes that don't show water in the background) since the show only had the "Dive-In" location for a limited time.

    • The red light effect in the scene between Dawson and Jen while developing photos in the dark room was added later during post-production.

    • Gram's kitchen cabinets have been avocado green with orange centers for the previous 3 seasons (except for the Pilot episode were the cabinets were all green). However, they have changed avocado green and yellow centers.

    • In the opening credits, when all of them are on the swing, a palm tree can be seen in the background. However, palm trees don't grow in Massachusetts where the show is set.

    • Music featured in the episode included:
      AM Radio by Everclear
      Souvenirs by Mary Beth Maziarz
      This Years Love by David Gray
      Theme From Jaws by John Williams

    • The opening credits for this whole season 4 were the same as the last 11 episodes of season 3(excluding Neverland), except that the images were bigger/closer on screen.

      Meredith Monroe is no longer featured between the main cast, that is listed as follows: James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams and Joshua Jackson and Kerr Smith.

    • Jason Daniel Roberts also starred in MTV's The Real World: New Orleans. Although he is gay in real life, he played Andie's love interest, and not Jack's.